Once the dominant body style in most major automotive markets, sedans sales have declined over the years in favor of consumers’ preference for crossovers and compact SUVs. That has left most major manufacturers in a unique position of competing not only with each other, but within their own model lineups for sales.
If the designers behind the 2019 Nissan Altima have anything to say about it, the sixth generation of the company’s top-selling sedan is about to reinvigorate interest in midsize sedans.
“When we originally started designing the next generation of the Altima, it was still the company’s best-selling nameplate in the critical U.S. market, so there wasn’t much pressure to make radical changes,” explained Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president, Global Design, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “Then our own Rogue (X-Trail) took off, drawing in new customers unlike anything we’d experienced before. This gave us the opportunity to rethink the Altima outside the traditional sedan design box and create something more exciting and yet more sophisticated.”
Based on the Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept and jointly designed by teams from four major Nissan design centers – Japan, Europe, U.S. and China, the new Altima – with the latest interpretation of the company’s V-Motion grille – is the new global face for Nissan sedans. The Nissan designers from each market influenced the others, resulting in a design appealing to global customers looking for “sophistication, expressivity and sport”.
The six-generation Altima has a new lower, longer and wider platform. At its heart is the Nissan’s new variable compression 2.0-litre VC-Turbo engine that has the ability to seamlessly raise or lower the height the pistons reach. As a result, the displacement of the engine changes and the compression ratio can vary anywhere between 8:1 (for high performance) and 14:1 (for high efficiency). The sophisticated engine control logic automatically applies the optimum ratio, depending on what the driving situation demands.
The Altima’s interior has been completely revamped with improved perceived quality as Nissan aims to push the Altima upmarket. Traditional chrome decorations were updated with fewer, more refined matte chrome accents. The instrument panel features a standard 7-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display in front of the driver and an 8-inch center color display with multi-touch control with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the center.
The Altima’s innovative NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats, noted for their long driving range comfort, were enhanced with dual-density foam and added bolstering for improved holding and support around town driving.
The all-new 2019 Nissan Altima is expected to hit showrooms in Australia in early 2019.